Thanks to industry leaders who are committed to making serious change happen in the fashion industry, more and more consumers are becoming aware of the negative impact that fast fashion can have on people and our planet. Now, more than ever, consumers are asking questions like, “Who made my clothes”, and “What do I do with my closet full of fast fashion?”. The True Cost Documentary ignited a movement towards transparency and leaders such as the Fashion Revolution have emerged to encourage, promote, and demand ethical and sustainable practices from each facet of the industry from concept to conception.
Realistically, many of us do in fact have many fast fashion items in our closets right now and we don’t want to point fingers and shame anyone. That will not accomplish anything and the important thing to do is to educate ourselves and move forward in a positive way. Here are a few things to keep in mind while deciding what to do with your fast fashion.
It’s natural to want nothing to do with fast fashion and immediately toss out anything you may have that was not ethically made and that may have brought harm to a garment worker. Please fight that urge! That is actually counterproductive. Make the most of what you currently own and make ethical shopping decisions moving forward with the information that you’ve learned.
Fast fashion has a reputation for not being well made, which means it might fall apart easily. This is a great opportunity to put your sewing skills to use...or it could be a great time to learn a new skill! Most repairs involve basic sewing skills and you can easily find tutorials on Youtube to get started. Many fabric stores also offer sewing classes if you really want to dive in and become a mending rock star. Who knows, maybe you will uncover a hidden talent!
Now, this is where you can get really creative! Maybe you can turn pants into shorts, or make a dress into a top? With a few cuts and a little imagination, you could give your wardrobe a makeover and have a closet full of unique pieces designed by you!
Maybe it’s that top that you’ve been photographed in 20 times or maybe it’s been your “go to” dress for the last 5 baby showers and you’re just over it. We totally understand that and know that many other fashionistas out there understand that feeling too. By planning a clothing swap party you have the chance to hang out with your friends and get “new” clothes without spending any money. If you really want to go big you could make it a community event and ask for a participation fee that could be 100% donated directly to a local charity.
If you don’t want to keep it, not into sewing at all, and maybe you are just too busy for a swap party, you can totally take it to your local thrift store. We do recommend checking out the different options out there. Some thrift stores specifically work with various social causes such as women’s issues and animal welfare for example. Why not select a store that is connected to an issue that is near and dear to your heart? This will not only give your clothing a chance to live another life but you will have a chance to contribute to a worthy cause at the same time.
Remember, we can’t change the past. We can’t go back in time and not purchase those fast fashion items that now might be haunting us. We can give those fast fashion items our love and respect and make sure they live long happy lives and make better informed shopping decisions moving forward.